HESSTON - Search efforts again proved fruitless Monday for a 16-year-old Huntingdon-area boy last seen swimming this weekend at Raystown Lake.
Officials declined to release the swimmer's name, citing the continued search efforts. They believe the teenager drowned Saturday evening while swimming just offshore of the Susquehannock Campground in the Seven Points area of Raystown Lake.
"I wish I could say something good, but there's nothing good to say," said Adam Miller, Huntingdon County Emergency Management Agency director, on Monday evening.
As of Monday evening, many of the volunteer searchers - including divers from Harrisburg River Rescue and other municipalities in the region - returned home after scouring the lake bottom without any results.
"All of the available resources have been expended as far as personnel goes," Miller said.
Divers combed the lake bed and reached depths of about 80 feet during the search, Miller said.
Tangled fishing lines, submerged logs and other underwater hazards proved to be a difficult environment for divers. Depths of more than 120 feet in parts of the lake also hindered the search, he said.
The area was cordoned off to boaters and campers as divers searched the water but has since been reopened, Supervisory Park Ranger Jude Harrington of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
The suspected drowning would be the fourth to occur at the lake this year after three men drowned on the same day in July.
"Really, it isn't a matter of bad boating or alcohol or anything like that," Harrington said, adding that many people forget the inherent danger involved with the water.
"How do you stop the risk?" he asked.
Searchers hope to bring in submersible cameras and radar imaging devices later this week in an effort to continue the search, Miller said.
"Efforts [to locate the boy] are going to continue until resources are no longer available," Harrington added.
Further down the lake, Michelle and Sam Green, of Wilkes-Barre were unaware a search was under way as they relaxed on the Seven Points Marina beach.
The pair kept a close eye on their grandchildren, ages 7 and 4, as they splashed in the swallow water.
"Unfortunately, we know accidents happen all too often," Michelle Green said.
A volunteer firefighter with over 14 years of experience, Sam Green said he has witnessed his fair share of accidents on the Susquehanna River, just across the street from his own home. Sam Green said he once discovered a drowning victim washed up along the river and has been involved in rescues.
But the search at the lake would be much more difficult without a predictable current, he said.
"Especially in an area this big," Michelle Green said, gesturing toward the water. "There's just too many variables."
While tragic, the incident only served to remind the pair of the dangers associated with the water, the couple said.
"As a mother and a grandmom, no, it wouldn't deter anything," to learn of the accident, Michelle said.
Still, the couple said they always keep an eye on their grandchildren, who could be seen swimming within the safety nets just offshore of the beach.
"I hope they find the person and give closure to the family," Michelle Green said.
Most beachgoers said they were also completely unaware of the search happening only miles away.
"It's scary," Tami Heath, of Harrisburg said after hearing of the search.
Heath said she witnessed a state police boat racing down the lake Sunday but assumed officials were pursuing another boater.
A mother of three, Heath said parents need to ensure that younger children always wear a life preserver when near the water and remain under the constant supervision of an adult, regardless of age.
"I would never let them out of my sight," Heath said of her children. "This gets parents thinking - it could happen to anybody."
Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.